SunFest organizers, fans and vendors are doing their best to put a smile face on despite the rainy conditions that have dampened the outdoor music extravaganza for two days.
“All you can do is laugh at this point,” said Gerald Johnson, who was setting up to sell Bavarian nuts Thursday. “I’ve been here since day one and I’ve never seen anything like this. Not the rain like this, not every day.”
Of course, if there are hard-core people willing to brave the rain, they’ll be found at SunFest. As local band Raggy Monster was about to start their set, Marley White and pal Mackenzie Baker, both 16 and from Stuart, goofed around in the steady downpour.
“We’re here for the music,” Marley said, explaining that they’d had five-day passes and skipped Wednesday’s opening night, but decided to brave the elements “to not waste any more money.”
The girls were assisted by Marley’s mother, Erika White, who drove them down even though she isn’t a fan of Train, Thursday’s main attraction.
“It’s not bad,” she said. “I have a raincoat. I actually wanted to see Smashing Pumpkins but they wouldn’t come with me last night,” she said.
Meanwhile, under the Raggy Monster merchandise tent, Charlie Duvall was happily folding T-shirts. His sister, Rachel Duvall, is the lead singer of the West Palm Beach-based band and he drove down in the rain from Orlando to support her.
“The people will come,” he said confidently.
SunFest spokeswoman Melissa Sullivan said it was too soon to tell how the rain might affect the crowds for the week.
“Of course, it would be nice if it was sunny,” she said. “But (Wednesday) night we had some great crowds and we’re just hoping that it clears and lets us put on a show. It doesn’t matter if it’s a few or a lot, we’re going to be here and be ready.”
Vendor Jesse Budnick of the Strawberry Fields food company was hopeful crowds will eventually show, despite the rain.
“I think people will defer from coming for the first part of tonight,” he said. “I think our sales will suffer, maybe be 50 percent. That’s to be expected in an outside festival where there’s rain.”
While forecasters are predicting that Sunday will be the nicest day this weekend, Sullivan said she didn’t think most would wait until the final day to attend.
“Like last night, the people wouldn’t have waited until Sunday.” she said. “Those people were fans and they wanted to see their acts. I think you cans plainly see who the fans are.”